Stone Cold Stunner (Jack Garratt, Phase review)

It’s just a phase, it’ll pass, I promise. That’s what they tell you when you’re growing up, anyway. Then you learn that adults tell you those things to keep you quiet and to simplify a subject far more complex than their tired minds are willing to handle.

Well no longer, dear readers. This week’s featured artist is all about that phase. In fact, I think he’s embraced the unknown and tackled the obvious to create something interesting. Shall we?




Jack Garratt – Phase
released February 19, 2016
******** 8/10


Jack Garratt is a British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who just released his debut album.

Jack is something of a musical swiss-army knife: dubstep, garage rock, ballads, dance, R&B, dream pop, trip hop, electronica, indie pop, gospel, acoustic, and blues all fuse together. Garratt says it best himself.

Pick apart the pieces you left
Don’t you worry about it, don’t you worry about it
Try and give yourself some rest
And let me worry about it, let me worry about it

At just 24 years old, he’s managed to make a name for himself already, touring with Mumford and Sons last year, and winning both the BRITs’ Critics’ Choice Award and BBC Sound of 2016 poll this year. Which is something that recent Oscar winner Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding and Adele have all accomplished too. This should tell you something right out of the gate, this artist is making pop music that is both in the present and oddly experimental.

I’ve read a few other reviewers compare him to Ed Sheeran and describe it as generic pop, albeit more rough around the edges, a confusing oxymoron. And while I “kinda” like that Ed Sheeran comparison, I think a better one is this – dubstep sprinkled electronica meets proper pop production.

You see, Garratt has an incredible voice which is demonstrated very clearly in the closing track My House Is Your Home. And then applied in interesting ways on both Weathered and Surprise Yourself. Where I get excited is when he starts to combine this ability with his sampling and production talents.

Then we get to experience the life-giving opener Coalesce (Synesthesia pt.II), Worry, and Chemical, the last of which I’ve taken the liberty of including some sample lyrics from below. We get excited for the dichotomy he is creating between raw blues and refined electro pop.

My love is chemical, shallow and chauvinistic
It’s an arrogant display
So don’t try to reason with my love

Well shit. That’s good right?

What is so surprising is that a sound so rich and varied in it’s musical sources would be backed by a label like Island Records. It’s not often that artists get to break ground and create self-contained musical systems in these types of environments, but again, like Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, and Adele before him, Garratt is epitomizing the shift in pop music culture. Maturity and craft are the order of the day, we are entering a renaissance for this kind of sound.

And maybe that’s where the generic sound comes in? He is simultaneously defining and perpetuating a sound.

Granted, the album is not perfect. Sometimes the sounds don’t mesh well together, but holy Moses, when they do, like a puppy dog that’s torn up your garbage can or a charming lover that ate your last ice cream, it’s easier to forgive Garratt and celebrate his experiments. And if Ellie Goulding is gonna cover his songs, he has to be at least worth a listen or two…

So check out  WeatheredBreath Life, and Chemical dear readers, and don’t you worry about it, Jack Garratt’s got phasers set to stun.




I hope Jack Garratt isn’t just the flavour of the week, and all my theories on him pan out. But either way, this is a fun and enjoyable record and I think you’ll get a lot out of it. And even if it’s just a phase, this too shall pass and give way to another review.


100% Certified (Space:Nunz interview, Authenticity)

In what seems to be a backlog of entries… Special thanks to my car problems and computer problems for delaying the last post of this kind, this post, and one more future post.. I have ANOTHER delayed post to deliver up.

One which is now 4 months in the making… That’s right, I’m releasing another featured artist (or should I say artists) on timotheories interviews!

But that’s not all, this is a two-for-one and a first ever experience for us here at timotheories!

So strap in and hold on tight because it’s time to pump up the jams! The Space Jams! Okay, actually that’s not true, I hear the word space and Bugs Bunny immediately comes to mind, damn you Michael Jordan and your well-aging bio-pic that features the Looney Tunes!

This time when I refer to space I’m hyping up a band of nuns from space – Space:Nunz.

They aren’t actually nuns though. It’s just a clever name for a fun and friendly band. You guessed it, our next episode of the timotheories interviews series features this likable and neat act.

You see, dear readers, Space:Nunz are an Edmonton based folk feminist comedy musical duo with big dreams and even bigger hearts. Social justice warriors with a penchant for the atypical topics of the audio arena, Laura Stolte and Nathalie Feehan are making comedy music that is purposefully not sexist, racist or problematic at all. Their humour is part of a refreshing brand of comedy which has been emerging out of Edmonton in the past few years. Though it pains me to write the newness of that mentality here.

Space:Nunz just finished their first-ever curated event this month, and are ready to take the world by storm. How you ask? They manage to ride the line between music and comedy, which lets them operate in both realms and expose all kinds of audiences to their satire.

Think a better version of Flight Of The Conchords and Alanis Morissette and your on your way to understanding their work.

But that’s enough from me, as promised here is Episode 6 of timotheories interviews, featuring Space:Nunz.

And if you want to check out more videos from us, please visit our YouTube channel. Leave some comments and of course subscribe to the feed if you haven’t yet.

Please also check out Space:Nunz Facebook page and like their stuff.

And of course my sincerest thanks for Laura and Nathalie for being lively and neat, logical and noble, lovely and new, and lastly, leaders and nice.



Blue? Boycott The Red Carpet and White Folk? (88th Annual Academy Awards Night)

Anyone familiar with apologetics? It’s this concept that reasoned communication in support of a theory, belief or doctrine (usually spiritual) will help win people over to that belief, and the idea behind it is that this method of discussion is actually more useful than the typical debate format.

Now don’t get too far ahead of yourself dear readers. I suspect some of you may already be thinking to yourselves… Here we go, we know the topic is the Academy Awards, and the title is referencing the decision-making process behind it. Oh timotheories, you small, silly, social savant, you are about to tell us why the Academy Awards are really actually quite good and that we shouldn’t scrutinize an American institution which is biased “white washing” and ignoring people of minorities.

And you wouldn’t be wrong to say that I am going to address this, because quite frankly it’s out there, and it seems like my Facebook feed and half the articles I’ve seen on other social media are discussing this topic. So let’s get topical, because it’s important.

The Oscars are almost 100 years old, and they are run by mostly American filmmakers. I cannot stress the importance of that word enough. American. Look at what Wikipedia has to say about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) –

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is a professional honorary organization with the stated goal of advancing the arts and sciences of motion pictures. The Academy’s corporate management and general policies are overseen by a Board of Governors, which includes representatives from each of the craft branches.

The roster of the Academy’s approximately 6,000 motion picture professionals is a “closely guarded secret.”[2] While the great majority of its members are based in the United States, membership is open to qualified filmmakers around the world.

The problem is inherent. You ask someone to rate something and they will do the best they can given their knowledge and experience. And that’s in a vacuum. But when you make that rating system important, segmented, and secret, it creates inbreeding of the worst kind. The authors of these votes are hidden, they cultivate a look and feel for their event, and they want to keep it that way.

After all, that’s what we’ve come to expect.

Someone might say to you, don’t blame the Academy members, they are only voting based on what they know. And I would agree that it’s true that the Academy is working to maintain it’s position whether it’s consciously destructive or not. But that root issue is whether the institution should be allowed to continue to operate the way it does or whether it needs competition and possibly a replacement. Obviously it’s more complex than just wanting one of those outcomes, but change needs to start somewhere.

Because even if we were to overlook the fact that this is an American organization that puts on an award show for films (mostly American films), the United States is made up of more than just Caucasian males, so American movies should be awarded based on a representation of the American population. On the other side of the coin, if you have supported the institution you can’t get mad at it because it’s been defined by it’s public support over the last 87 years.

Think about that for a minute. People watch the show.

Millions of people around the world tune in to watch an American film awards ceremony and complain that it’s flawed. No shit, really? Well we live in a time when democracy, free will, and striving for equality are on everyone’s lips. Subversion and evolution is slow-going, unless enough change happens quickly and at the same time to force a shift in priorities, this won’t change, and we’ll continue to complain about it for decades.

So we have to decide something as individuals. Do we boycott the Oscars? Do we complain about the Oscars on social media and traditional media, through petition? Do we fund organizations that support diversity and quality of film rather than very specific criteria based on opinions dictated by a hidden membership?

Well, shit. I guess you’ve made it this far, so you must want to know what timotheories really thinks about it. We support the rights of representation by population. Organizations should exist to support the majority. Which means that Canadian films should be supported at Canadian awards shows, American films at American ones, and so on, and so forth. What we all should be supporting at the end of February every year is a global award show that showcases the best in film internationally.

So long story short, I think you should watch the Academy Awards, so that you can understand what is wrong with it, and then speak out about it and know what a film awards ceremony should look like. Please also support organizations which are young, so that older institutions like AMPAS have to evolve or die. That’s the only way to see real change.

For you Edmontonians, one way to enjoy this experience is by heading over to Garneau Theatre and joining Metro Cinema as they guest host the event from the comfort of your local independent movie theatre. Metro Cinema is an amazing organization which supports diversity of film and grass roots change is really the best place to start. As I’m sure you already know, dear readers, this event called the Oscars usually takes more than 2-3 hours to complete, so the organizers at the theatre have prepared something special for you to get yourself in the mood and on par with the festivities. Check it out, you just might see me there.

But what do you think? Am I off my rocker? Too much of an idealist, not enough realist? Am I cynical? A white male moron? Please leave some comments and subscribe. I wanna get better.

Those are all of the theories I’ve got for today dear readers, I’ll see you on Sunday with something stimulating!


The Secret Genius (Attitude Is Everything)

You want to be like Steve Jobs right?

Well, get in line dear readers.

Seriously though, a lot of people want to emulate the persona of Steve Jobs because he will always be remembered as a genius. That’s the way it is with great people; those visionaries and leaders who appeared at the right time and the right place and made it happen for themselves and conveniently for the world as well.

But what if I told you there is a theory floating around that geniuses don’t just appear?

That geniuses are a culmination of several factors? For instance, they are made up of things like genes, personality, ambition, environment, and effort.

Well you’d probably laugh at me.

Haha, you’re too funny timotheories, you think you know so much about theories and now you’ve finally proven that you don’t know jack!


Well hold up there aggressive little buddy, I’m still in the process of making a point, and you are just being rude. So please keep your comments until the end of the lecture.

Let’s address the problem of effort first. There have been studies done which indicate that major breakthroughs, whether in the arts or sciences, only appear that way to the casual observer, when in reality it takes time, effort, and energy to produce mastery of skill(s). In other words, when you can understand the rules intimately, then you are capable of bending or breaking them.

Also consider that specialization totally kills creativity because you are operating within a limited palette while looking at nothing other than the subject in front of you.

Ambition and a healthy desire to discover need to be present.

Which leads us into my next point.

Whatever your conviction, you need to ask a ton of questions: which is another way of saying, keep your mind sharp. Go to the library and take out books on a variety of topics, then grab some audio books on language, and sign up for a course or a program. It doesn’t matter if you are getting a diploma, certification, accreditation or doctorate. Exercise your mind.

That also includes physical exploration by spending time in nature or on a retreat.

But what about your genetics/personality? If those are fixed then genius is limited to those born with certain traits. Yes, those details definitely make up a part – but if you are open to experiences, driven, aggressive and can learn to look inwardly, you have just found some qualities that will help get you there, and can be learned. Interestingly enough, environment can play a role too in that progression.

Educational institutions that teach us to learn something from whatever we focus on can aid in this process, which can often be uncovered in post-secondary. This article very briefly touches upon it, but essentially the idea proposed is that cultures which encourage new forms of teaching and education foster risk-taking and that is where genius can appear, when individuals or groups can focus their vision into expression.

But truthfully, no matter what your stage or status, we all have the basic blueprint needed to accomplish these steps. Environment is just one piece. Look at what Malcolm Cowley said about the subject,

Genius is vision, often involving the gift of finding patterns where others see nothing but a chance collection of objects.

Children naturally do pattern seeking that from the time they are born until it is slowly weeded out of them in adulthood. But if we can cultivate that curiosity as already mentioned and focus our efforts on the importance of openness to experiences, i.e. look objectivity, then we’ll be in a way stronger position to see things as they are, rather than how we have been conditioned to do so.

That is what genius is, focusing on your passion, applying knowledge and experience, and continuous and never-ending improvement of self as you live your life’s purpose. You’ll make a contribution to your area of purpose which no one else can, because of your unique perspective.

It just takes some re-training.

Which is why ultimately, attitude is everything. People think there is a secret to genius, it really comes down to attitude. If you are willing to put forth the right effort and combine it with the attitude that life is a process, not a goal, you’ll experience genius.

But what do you think? Please leave some comments and subscribe to support these posts! I’m out of theories for now.


The Cult of Apple (Steve Jobs review)

Great men and women are always to fascinating to the world. It’s almost as if people expect that by analyzing them, they’ll get insight into how to achieve their level of success and become them, without doing any real work.

Almost cult-like behaviour.

How fitting, given this week’s movie review topic.



Steve Jobs (2015)
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen
Director: Danny Boyle
released on blu-ray February 16, 2016
******** 8/10


IMDB: 7.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%, Audience Score 76%
The Guardian: ****/*****

Danny Boyle is an English stage and film director, producer, and screenwriter, with a spiritual atheist belief system. Raised in an Irish-Catholic home and in line for the priesthood until he was 14, Boyle was persuaded by a priest to consider a different path.

He decided to enter into drama and I think we are the better for it.

Boyle has directed Trainspotting, The Beach, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, among others. His belief in the connection between theatre and spiritual expression has likely influenced his project choices, but let’s dig into the plot a bit to see what I mean.

The movie starts in 1984 California with a young Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) and his marketing executive Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), discussing the failure the Macintosh computer demo is currently facing. Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg) is also there and tells them it cannot say hello because they need special tools to open up the computer.

Joanna wants Steve to stay calm and lower his voice because a GQ journalist is present and could get them bad press. Steve not only wants the computer to say hello, he wants total darkness in the theatre to focus the audience attention, which is not allowed due to safety reasons with the exit signs. Joanna suggests delaying, but Steve says that a tech company MUST start on time.

Joanna and Steve go backstage. She tries again to convince him to leave out the voice command, but Steve needs it to show the world that computers are not scary, even though Hollywood says that they are. Joanna is also upset about the price tag and limited memory but Steve explains that the computer is intuitive and innovative. While discussing this, Steve finds boxes of TIME magazine, and is upset because he should have been Man of the Year, but the journalist didn’t like him. Joanna is more concerned about the fact the article mentioned Steve has an illegitimate daughter which reminds her that his ex Chrisann (Katherine Waterston) and daughter Lisa (Makenzie Moss) are there – He should go talk to them and calm Chrisann down.

Backstage, Chrisann and Steve start to fight and Joanna leads Lisa out of the room. Chrisann is upset that Steve implied she is a slut and slept with 28% of the population but Steve corrects her and say he is only 94% likely the father which means 28% of the population could be as likely. Lisa knows that Steve named one of the computers after her, but Steve tells her its coincidence. Chrisann knows Apple stock is up 441 million and yet she and Lisa are on welfare.

Enter cofounder Steve Woz Wozniak (Seth Rogen), who is wants recognition for the Apple II team in the speech, which Steve also brushes off later.

Steve wants someone to find a white shirt with a pocket so he can pull out a floppy disk. Joanna asks “why white?”, but Steve has an answer ready. He knows that the white will offset the beige of the computer casing. Andy comes back and tells Steve he still can’t fix the voice feature. Steve threatens Andy by telling him he will list of the the team of developers and each off their roles in the creation, and he will be the one team member with a feature that didn’t work.

What a good place to stop, just as the first act is about to end.

Pros: Much like the real life Steve Jobs, the film flows with genius and visually constructs the setting to showcase Fassbender in this role. Also like Fassbender the pace and the builder have you wondering if it’s going to work out, but it does.

Cons: We can tell that Steve Jobs was flawed, but we don’t get to see much more than that. It feels a little stiff and structured at times.

Runtime: 148 minutes

Points of Interest: Each of the acts were shot slightly differently. 1984 in 16mm. 1988 in 35mm, and finally digital to symbolize the development of Apple technology and focus of Jobs over the 16 year period. The shareholder meeting and product launch from 1984 was recreated at the original location of the Flint Center of De Anza Community College in Cupertino, California.

The movie features an excellent ensemble cast which is directed quite well by Boyle, but it might just be writer Aaron Sorkin who is organizing the details of the film. The film is structured in three acts, features a lot of standing and walking between actors, and elements of satire. This is what pulls you in and engages you with characterized Steve Jobs. It’s fun, thoughtful, and interesting, to say the least.

I wouldn’t ever accuse someone of belonging to the cult of Steve Jobs. I would accuse them of over-indulging in his personal philosophies and believing that the brand he built with Apple is capable of being peanut-buttered over anything. But that is often how it is with genius. We want to reach out and grab it, and hope that it will rub off on us.

Maybe a good lead-in for some wisdom tomorrow? I do have some theories after all.